Mustang poised for Supercars homologation tests

Tom Howard

Friday 30th November, 2018 - 6:00am

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The Ford Mustang prototype Supercar

The Ford Mustang Supercar is set to undergo official homologation aerodynamic tests which will set the package for the car’s maiden season next year.

Following tests at Queensland Raceway, Phillip Island and a bout of straightline aero testing earlier this month, the Blue Oval’s latest weapon is now prepared for the crucial VCAT (V8 Supercars Aerodynamic Testing), due to begin in the coming days.

The test, at an undisclosed location, will see the car go up against the already homologated Holden ZB Commodore and a Nissan Altima in a series of tests.

Supercars officials will work to ensure the drag and downforce numbers created by the Mustang match up against its rivals to achieve parity.

It has been a hectic schedule for homologation team DJR Team Penske, which has completed the build of the prototype Mustang and tested the car all prior to last weekend’s successful Newcastle 500 Supercars title decider.

Team managing director Ryan Story is confident that the car is well prepared for the homologation tests after a straghtline aero VCAT dress rehearsal, that saw the car driven by Aaron Seton.

“We are as prepared as we’d hope to be,” Story told Speedcafe.com.

“You are never ready with these things and it (the test) is taking place at a different location which changes things. 

“We have obviously had a testing program that was as comprehensive as we could make it, and it was fairly aggressive in terms of timeframe based on when we could book the venues and when the car was finished.

“We had some weather battles along the way, which is almost inevitable with these things, but it went smoothly enough.

“The day at Queensland Raceway was a good opportunity to understand what the car is, and is working and fit for purpose.

“While the day at Phillip Island was much more smooth sailing and more like a traditional test day to understand the car and some of the options available to us for tuning on the aero side of things.

“It has gone to plan and we have got a good set of data to understand where the car is, and obviously the aim of VCAT is to make sure all the cars come out the same.

“We have got a good understanding of where the Commodore and Altima are and what the benchmark is that we have to match.”

So far the Mustang’s tests have been overseen by lead Ford Performance aerodynamicist Sriram Pakkam who has been flown from the US to Australia.

Story says Ford’s interest and input in helping the Mustang Supercar come to life has been huge.

“It (Ford Performance’s input) cannot be discounted,” Story added.

“Having Ford Performance involved in the project is really quite unbelievable. 

“They have been responsible for all the development side of the car with the CFD work and analysis.

“For them to send out one of their senior engineers for the testing process shows the commitment Ford Performance has for the Supercars project. It is really exciting.”

Six Mustangs are expected to line up on the grid at next season’s Supercars Superloop Adelaide 500 opener. 

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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